Doors open at AFI's new home at Sasana Kijang in Kuala Lumpur
The Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s (AFI) relocation to Kuala Lumpur is now complete. This week, full operations for the AFI management staff resumed at the AFI Network’s new and permanent headquarters based at the Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Sasana Kijang complex—the new home of global financial inclusion.
In the opening ceremony held Thursday, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, representing AFI’s host institution in Malaysia, toured the new facilities with AFI Executive Director Alfred Hannig.
“We are honored to host AFI’s Headquarters in Malaysia,” said Dr. Zeti. “We are committed to the cause of advancing the global financial inclusion agenda and look forward to continuing our collaboration with AFI and all fellow members in developing innovative and effective financial inclusion policies and thus contribute towards achieving a more balanced economic growth.”
Within the Sasana Kijang complex, AFI has 9,500 square feet of built-up area of office space, including workstations, meeting facilities, and full suite of communication services. Located in the Sasana Kijang building, AFI has the access to one of Southeast Asia’s most sophisticated conference facilities and a research library.
AFI’s move to Malaysia marks a significant milestone in the evolution of the AFI Network, setting the stage for the organization’s transformation into an independent organization from its humble beginnings as a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and managed by German International Cooperation only six years ago.
At its inception, AFI was conceived as a knowledge-sharing network that enabled financial inclusion lessons for policymakers and regulators in emerging and developing countries. Since then the organization’s development has surpassed all expectations as more and more central banks and other regulatory institutions found their association with AFI provided substantial impact and value to their policy work. Today, with 124 member institutions from 95 counties, AFI has expanded well beyond its original concept and is now a recognized leader in assisting the facilitation and proliferation of successful, evidence-based financial inclusion policies.
Through global initiatives such as the Maya Declaration, and the Network’s annual Global Policy Forum, AFI members have demonstrated a strong and measurable record of success and innovation, using the platform AFI provides to enable each other to share lessons learned and give voice to nations from the developing world. AFI’s value to its members and to the cause of financial inclusion is undeniable.
"This is an exciting and important period for the cause of financial inclusion," said Alfred Hannig, Executive Director at AFI. "The development of our Network is representative of the positive impact financial inclusion has had on the world. As a permanent organization housed in a first-class home, our staff will be even more motivated to deliver to members who will be in an even stronger position to help provide the necessary tools for unbanked individuals to build a better future for themselves and this new home base will help us achieve that goal.”